Just want to say, love the game so far. Only been playing/following it for about a week so I apologize if some things are being repeated, or are actually implemented and I haven’t figured them out yet (very possible), etc.
First thing I think would improve the workflow of different models, would be to add a “Redesign” option alongside the Facelift option. This would be for designing the next ‘bodystyle’ of a model without having to create a new vehicle project, and then discontinue the old version. It could just function the same as the existing facelift option, but would re-enable the “Modify Chassis” button in the project page. Basically the typical model progression would be Creation, Facelift, Redesign, Facelift, Redesign, etc. Think 94-04 Mustang to 05-14, with facelifts in '99 and '10.
Next we have the engine. I saw in the FAQ that the engine features are pretty set in stone at this point, but I don’t believe this would require much work to implement with the existing system. We should be able to change the block/head material in the different variants, maybe add the option in the first page where you select the variants bore/stroke. It’s not uncommon for real-world engines to come in iron and aluminum block or head variants in different models and trims.
To a lesser degree I think we should be able to change the heads as long as it stays within the same type. No changing a variant from Pushrod to SOHC, but 2v to 3v SOHC and DOHC may all be interchangeable. I mean, the 4.6L in the Mustangs had 6 different head variations in total, among 2v, 3v, and 4v variants all on the same engine. I think this is a relatively less common occurrence, so don’t expect this to be considered as much, but it’d be cool for performance based models nonetheless.
Also, why can we only assign one engine/vehicle to a factory at a time? Surely the factories should be able to handle as many different models, trims, and variants, as long as they have the size and tooling to keep up and not get overworked. Maybe have a tooling cost penalty when building two different models in the factory, but should still doable assuming the factory is of sufficient size. Doesn’t make much sense to build a new factory for every car you make imo. This is the part where I may indeed just be doing something wrong and we can already do this.
Another thought I just had is that some fixtures should be required on every car. Things like every car has to have at least one headlight, tailight, indicator, mirrors, door handle, wheel, and exhaust pipe fixture. The indicator lights may not be required early in game due to lax safety regulations. I think this would just help with immersion and ‘fleshing out’ each car. You gotta have door handles for example, otherwise how do you get in? Deciding on door handles, and deciding how to tackle things like the exhaust outlet is all part of the design process. Otherwise how many people just design and sell cars that don’t have wing mirrors because they just didn’t think about it?
EDIT: Sorry for all the Mustang examples, I’m just most familiar with Mustangs over any other car so they’re the first instances of things that come to mind. Not trying to base the entire game around them or anything lol